Hopeless Wanderer


Do you believe in miracles? Well, I do, and I think one just happened to me.

In the late Winter after my mother passed, I was struggling with missing her and with my faith. One day, I took a walk and listened to music my sister, Molly, had just introduced me to. The music of Mumford and Sons was to become a huge part of my road from darkness to light, but I didn’t know that yet. I heard these lyrics from a song called ‘Hopeless Wanderer’:

Don’t hold a glass over the flame
Don’t let your heart grow cold
I will call you by name
I will share your road

I thought of my college choir conductor who often spoke of a glass over a flame when trying to describe the intense, soft singing he was looking for, and I laughed to myself. When I heard the next bit, I spoke aloud to God right there in the street. I told Him He had better come and rescue me because I was flailing. I said I needed help right now, in this minute.

When I looked up, there was an older woman walking toward me. I recognized her as someone who sometimes came to our church. She was adorable, and sweet, and she had an Eastern European accent, but that was all I knew of her. We had been introduced only once, I think, but out of nowhere she said, “Kerry! The Spring is coming, do you smell it? It’s coming!” With tears in my eyes, I told her that I hoped so, I really did. As she passed me I knew… in the guise of this woman, God had literally called me by name and shared my road…more than that, He had given me hope.

Fast forward to today. I’ve had a good amount of stress and physical pain lately, but made a decision to go for a run because of the example of my mother and friend who art in Heaven, who always kept going through far worse. Running is a metaphor for life, after all, and I was making the decision to get up off of the sidelines, even if it hurt. I was trying to make my Heavenly peeps proud.

About twenty minutes in, I felt considerable pain and also nausea from pain meds. At twenty-five minutes, I knew I had to start walking, and I was so disappointed in myself. After a few minutes, I tried running again. I was quite literally a hot mess, my form falling apart as I tried to regain my stride. All of a sudden, my same sweet, older woman walked out of a building into my path. I couldn’t believe it. She said something like, “What a beautiful day for running!” but I couldn’t hear her from that distance, and she knew it. So, she looked up to the sky and shook her fists like Rocky after he climbed all those stairs, and she beamed at me. Again, she was sharing my road, giving me hope, giving me strength, making me look up and see a much bigger picture.

All I could say was thank you.

When I got home, I immediately wanted to write about what had happened. I sat with my banana and water, opened up Word, looked to my left, and found a piece of notebook paper. On it were the very lyrics I had written down on that late Winter afternoon. That day, I had wanted to remember them and scribbled them down as soon as I got home. How this one year-old loose sheet of notebook paper ended up in my clear view today could be explained by Tim’s recent basement organization, or it could be something more, don’t you think?

I do, and all I can say is thank you.


© my little epiphanies Kerry Campbell 2014 all rights reserved

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